In many industries and specialty areas, technology plays a central role in the business platform.

  • Are you seeing technology as a key or crucial component of your loss mitigation or special asset platform?

For example, the oil & gas industry has large, international companies that invest heavily in technology (as they search for and produce production); yet even the small independent oilman relies heavily upon technology.

In the context of loan closings, there clearly is evidence that technology will be improving and forever changing the commercial loan closing process.  Examples include initiatives promulgated by MISMO and initial work on the eMortgage.

However, over the next 3-5 years, the amount of work focused on distressed debt will exceed work done on new loan originations.

So, for those of us interested in the ways that technology will change the commercial real estate industry, several fundamental questions are:

– how are you now using technology in your work on distressed investments?

– when and how will technology become even more meaningful in dealing with distressed commercial real estate?

My focus here is not directed at "robo foreclosures" (where technology might be used in ways conflicting with established legal requirements) but in other ways, where it technology could and should be a significant "value add" to handling of distressed investments.

My experience is that technology innovation will NOT come from the lawyers who handle distressed commercial real estate.  [Don’t look for workout lawyers to bring or use tech solutions.]

In future postings, I’ll list some of the ways that technology currently is being used, and also tell you about a technology seminar that I recently gave to a group of lawyers (the seminar supports my view that it will be very unusual for the legal community to be a source or resource for technology innovations in dealing with distressed investments).

So, back to my fundamental question:

– are you seeing technology innovations or tools that have been helpful in assessing, handling and then disposing of distressed investments?

Please post your comments below.